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Get up to speed with the most popular developments in science, with everything from the tiniest atom to the farthest flung findings of the universe, and every scientific discovery in between. Our selection of books in this category will keep you up to date.
See the world. Then make it better. I am 93. I've had an extraordinary life. It's only now that I appreciate how extraordinary. As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day - the loss of our planet's wild places, its biodiversity. I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet contains my witness statement, and my vision for the future - the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake, and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right. We have the opportunity to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited.
'Obscene Genes: The Ride of a Lifetime' is Steve O'Grady's third book of entertaining scientific theories. As a graduate in bio-science, the study of which he undertook as a mature student after a variety of jobs, the author uses his life experiences and great sense of humour to try to explain what it is that makes us tick. His conclusion is that our genes are the things that drive everything we do throughout our lives. They alone are responsible for our behaviour, whether that be deemed good (such as caring for babies, appreciating grandmas and being loyal friends), bad (from being greedy, inventing and using guns, to getting disgustingly drunk) or downright ugly (indulging in extreme pornography, racism and violent revenge). We should, therefore, not be surprised or shocked by nor too critical of any of these behaviours, as they are being forced upon us by our genes' relentless need to replicate themselves. Even the apparent disregard by many younger people of the current Covid-19 restrictions can be put down to this over-riding force compelling us to give in to basic instincts and share our genes. By the author's own admission, however, this was not the book he had set out to write, so, after discarding most of his original work, he amalgamated the remainder with the section just described. The following few pages then proceed to explain the very complex workings of the human gene replication system by way of an even more complex analogy of train carriages, passengers, platforms and timetables! The reader will soon get the gist though. The final section is a veritable romp through some very funny and/or poignant personal experiences from the author's childhood family life, his single-sex Catholic school career and from his work as a prison officer. It may seem that the author is condoning all manner of behaviours, as, according to him, we could rightly claim that 'it wasn't my fault, my genes made me do it'. But no. The reader is left in no doubt that Mr O'Grady believes in free will and urges us, at all costs, to use it as often as possible and thwart our genes, which would have us do things that, in the cold light of day, we know to be wrong. The world of education has long pondered the question of 'nature versus nurture', in which our genes' need to be copied is pitted against the society, shaped by laws, culture and religious beliefs, that we all have to live in. This extraordinary book provides much food for thought and should help the reader to a better understanding of him/herself and the world around. A very rewarding read. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
Diary of a Young Naturalist recounts a year in the life of an autistic and highly gifted 15 year old, struggling with school, bullies, moving house and fearing the decline of the natural world whilst rejoicing in it. Dara McAnulty is clearly an extraordinary person and a beautiful and mature writer. His descriptions of his adventures in nature are inspiring for children, but also sure to brighten the souls of many an adult too. The intensity with which nature presents itself to the author is overwhelming, and his ability to share this with the reader is enthralling. It’s a rollercoaster ride being in the head of this young man, but the book has the magic to open our eyes and ears to what beauty is around us each and every day - if only we looked! McAnulty's knowledge of wildlife and nature is simply extraordinary. His autism is a burden but also a super-power, providing him with piercing insight to a world that simply cannot be ignored with all its truth, tragedy and hope pouring out of every hedgerow, pond and dry stone wall. This is a diary which highlights our essential connection with the natural world, the landscape and our history embedded within it - but more importantly, it is also about our futures. Dara McAnulty is on a mission, and if the quality of this book is anything to go by, he will have a huge impact. For many children, this book will be the beginning of a wondrous journey. ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival
What would you do if someone bet you they could balance a coin on the edge of a banknote, walk through a postcard, or make you move your limbs through the power of suggestion? Would you take that bet? From Richard Wiseman, the creator of the 350-million-view YouTube phenomenon, Quirkology, comes a thrilling mix of lateral thinking, magic tricks and scintillating science stunts which is sure to appeal to curious minds everywhere.
If I can only persuade you to read one of these science titles let it be this one, it’s easily the best science book I’ve read in a long time. And in Michael Brooks you have an author who has the great gift of communication and the ability to write about complex issues with such clarity that ideas like Quantum Physics begin to make sense. I loved the sense of adventure contained in his book and thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the world of scientific mystery he reveals.Like for Like Reading:How to Make a Tornado: The Strange and Wonderful Things That Happen When Scientists Break Free, New Scientist
Who invented zero? Why 60 seconds in a minute? How big is infinity? Where do parallel lines meet? And can a butterfly's wings really cause a storm on the far side of the world? In 50 Maths Ideas You Really Need to Know, Professor Tony Crilly explains in 50 clear and concise essays the mathematical concepts - ancient and modern, theoretical and practical, everyday and esoteric - that allow us to understand and shape the world around us. Packed with diagrams, examples and anecdotes, this book is the perfect overview of this often daunting but always essential subject. For once, mathematics couldn't be simpler. Contents include: Origins of mathematics, from Egyptian fractions to Roman numerals; Pi and primes, Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio; What calculus, statistics and algebra can actually do; The very real uses of imaginary numbers; The Big Ideas of relativity, Chaos theory, Fractals, Genetics and hyperspace; The reasoning behind Sudoku and code cracking, Lotteries and gambling, Money management and compound interest; Solving of Fermat's last theorem and the million-dollar question of the Riemann hypothesis.
We encounter physics before we've even left the house in the morning; an alarm clock tracks time, a mirror reflects light waves and our mobile phones rely on satellites held in their orbit by gravity. Where would we be without the Bernoulli equation to explain how planes fly, electromagnetic waves enabling us to communicate around the world or the discovery of X-rays? In 50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know Joanne Baker will uncover the physics all around us, from basic concepts like gravity, light and energy through to the complexities of quantum theory, chaos and dark energy. Featuring short biographies of iconic physicists, explanatory diagrams and timelines showing discoveries within their historical context, this book is the perfect guide to the fundamental concepts of physics, making even the most challenging theories easy to understand. Contents include: Newton's law of gravitation, Brownian motion, Chaos theory, Fleming's right hand rule, Planck's law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Schrodinger's cat, Superconductivity, Rutherford's atom, Nuclear fission and fusion, The God particle, String theory, Special and general relativity, The big bang and the Anthropic principle.
50 Science Ideas You Really Need to Know is your guide to the biggest questions and deepest concepts from across the whole of science. What was the Big Bang? How did life on Earth arise? What does quantum mechanics tell us about the universe? Is true artificial intelligence possible? And does life exist on other planets? Moving from the basics of atoms and molecules, Newton's laws of physics and the building blocks of life to the cutting edge of nanotechnology, Einstein's theories of relativity and cloning, this book makes the many worlds of science accessible and illuminating.
A 2014 World Book Night selection. Most people would like to be more creative, more persuasive and more attractive. For years, gurus and 'life coaches' have urged people to improve their lives by changing the way they think and behave, but scientific research has revealed that many of their techniques, from group brainstorming to visualization, are ineffective. Fortunately, psychologist Richard Wiseman is on hand to provide fast-acting, myth-busting scientific answers to a huge range of everyday problems. From job-hunting to relationships, and from parenting to self-esteem, personal and professional success may be less than a minute away ...Find out why putting a pencil between your teeth instantly makes you feel happier. Discover why even thinking about going to the gym can help you keep in shape. Learn how putting just one thing in your wallet will improve the chance of it being returned if lost.
Published over 20 years ago this book is still a best seller, bringing complicated science to the masses. Gravity, black holes, the Big Bang - all kinds of topics are covered in a way that helps the less scientifically gifted among us get some way to grasping these concepts. Fascinating stuff. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... ‘Steven Hawking is responsible for enthusing millions worldwide and on an unprecedented scale with the world of science. His A Brief History of Time has broken all records for a bestselling science book and its sheer brilliance continues to stimulate and inspire the thousands of people curious about the origins of the universe’. Sally Gaminara, Publishing Director at Transworld
In A Buzz in the Meadow Goulson tells the story of how he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France, together with 33 acres of surrounding meadow and how, over a decade, he has created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive. But other creatures live there too, a myriad insects of every kind, many of them ones that Goulson has studied before in his career as a biologist. You will learn about how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, about the importance of houseflies, why butterflies have spots on their wings, about dragonfly sex, bed-bugs and wasps. Goulson is brilliant, and very funny, at showing how scientists actually conduct experiments. The book is also a wake-up call, urging us to cherish and protect life on earth in all its forms. Goulson has that rare ability to persuade you to go out into your garden or local park and get down on your hands and knees and look. The undiscovered glory that is life in all its forms on planet Earth is there to be discovered. And if we learn to value what we have, perhaps we will find a way to keep it. A Sting in the Tale, Dave Goulson's account of a lifetime studying bumblebees, was one of the most gratifying success stories of 2013. Brilliantly reviewed, it was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book of the year. A Buzz in the Meadow is another call to arms for nature lovers everywhere.
This book is from the author of the Samuel Johnson Prize - shortlisted Sunday Times bestseller, A Sting in the Tale. In 2003, Dave Goulson bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France, together with 33 acres of surrounding meadow. Over the course of a decade, he created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive along with myriad insects of every kind. In this book you will learn how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, about the importance of houseflies, why butterflies have spots on their wings, about dragonfly sex, bed-bugs and wasps. But it is also a wake-up call, urging us to cherish and protect life on earth in all its forms. A Buzz in the Meadow is a captivating look at our natural world and a call to arms for nature-lovers everywhere. Glorious. (The Times). Captivating. (Independent).
This really is the most gorgeously scrumptious book, showcasing some truly beautiful and awe-inspiring skies. 365 photographs and paintings, information, science, poetry and quotations all sit inside this rather lovely cover. The book is a great size, not too unwieldy, and after the introduction, which also gives some handy page numbers of some of the highlights, every single page is adorned with clouds. Did you know there was a Cloud Appreciation Society? I didn’t, but of course it makes complete sense! Gavin Pretor-Pinney started the society and says: “Having your head in the clouds, even for just a few moments each day, is good for your mind, good for you body and good for your soul. This book aims to show you why.” It certainly does show you why, you can open it at random, return again and again, and just soak up the images. The next time you head out, you can look up and know a little bit more about our beautiful skies. A Cloud A Day is a stunner, visually and mentally stimulating, it has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book.
We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. If the body is a foreign country, then to practise medicine is to explore new territory: Francis leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human. Both a user's guide to the body and a celebration of its elegance, this book will transform the way you think about being alive, whether in sickness or in health. Published in association with Wellcome Collection.
We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. If the body is a foreign country, then to practise medicine is to explore new territory: Francis leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human. Both a user's guide to the body and a celebration of its elegance, this book will transform the way you think about being alive, whether in sickness or in health. Published in association with the Wellcome Collection.
Science has never been more popular. You don’t have to understand it to love it. We live in a golden age where we know more about the world and its origins than ever before. Here, some of the biggest questions ever asked find answers, as well as some of the smallest. This is a section bursting from its nucleus with protons of knowledge especially compiled for the lay enthusiast and the curious. Accessible science is no longer the domain of the scientist. We can all have a go at broadening our minds … and what’s more, we can do it from the relative comfort of our favourite chair. Relative comfort, because the chair is merely a mass of vibrating particles on a planet, hurtling through space and time, bending both as it goes in a Universe that may itself just be one of an infinite number of possible universes in an undefinable dimension of matter.
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